Thursday, July 21, 2011

Going round and round

It's quite apt to describe people as moving around in social circles. Different people are like different cosmic bodies. Some people are like stars -- bright, energy powerhouses around whom other people cluster and orbit as planets and planetesimals. A few are like comets, periodically drawn towards a solar cluster, but containing so much kinetic energy they don't fall in lock-step within the planetary accretion. Instead, they chart their own eccentric paths between these gravitational wells and long, cold stretches of empty space.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Model essay: Hosting international events

Haven't written a 'model essay' for a while. It shows. The following essay responds to the question, 'Hosting large-scale international events always benefits the host country. Do you agree?' Click here.

Now for a little self critique:

Essay was planned in about 5 minutes, leaving 85 minutes to write and proofread. No Googling or other reference materials available, so writing took place under near-exam conditions. My medium was an offline laptop. The uploaded essay is without further editing than was allowed within the time limit.

Overshot the word limit by 200+ words. I could have applied better word economy, but the words wouldn't come under exam pressure. Thus, some repetition of stock phrases. I was gunning for the time limit, not lexical eloquence, that's why.
The examples are limited 'cos they were dredged up from my Swiss cheese memory (no Googling). Some examples are clearly recycled from previous examples! And I'm sure some of my facts are patently wrong (terrorists struck at the Munich Olympics, not Montreal!). No specificity of dates either. I was recalling events by location, not by year which is the more usual thing to do. I took a chance on naming white elephant stadia -- I have no idea about their current status, but I had to substantiate my point somehow and hoped the reader would take my word for it.
Pacing is ploddy, and there are places where it is obvious that I couldn't think of the exact words to use, so I used whatever worked at the time.

Feel free to add to the list...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Derek + Brea

This is my programme for the morning:

0630 feed animals at M-i-L's
0700 feed animals at  home
0725 leave for office (overtime is a killer)
0735 remember it's Brea's wedding and I promised to give my folks a ride... make U-turn
0740 pit-stop at McD's for fillet o' fish and coffee
0810 arrive home and change into something more presentable
0900 arrive at folks' place and wait for them to change into something more presentable
0925 depart for wedding
1000 arrive at Fabrika and wait for bride to make an appearance
1030 Brea takes a walk down the aisle
1032 Service commences.
1045 Pastor irritates me with too many anecdotes based on over-personal impressions and observations of the happy couple -- individually and collectively. Remind me never to get married by a President who is also my best friend and bosom buddy. If it was a traditional Canadian roast, I might have enjoyed it better, but this was just ladling saccharine syrup over honey. *shudders
1120 It's official! After a suitable pause, with no one in the audience objecting to the union; appropriate vows having been taken, legal documents signed; and having smooched twice for good measure, the couple walk back up the aisle as Mr and Mrs.
1130 Stuff face with dainty finger food reception.

My day isn't over. Dinner is yet to follow. Collecting folks at 1800, cocktails commence at 1900.